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Malaysia: New Anti-Terrorism Measures Tabled in Parliament

(Apr. 2, 2015) On March 30, 2015, the Malaysian government tabled seven bills in the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives, the lower house of the country’s Parliament) related to anti-terrorism. They include: Act on Prevention of Terrorism Bill (D.R. 10/2015); Act to Amend the Criminal Procedure Code and the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act (No. […]

Malaysia: Opposition Leader Loses Final Appeal Against Sodomy Conviction

(Feb. 12, 2015) On February 10, 2015, a five-member panel of the Federal Court of Malaysia (Malaysia’s highest court) declined to overturn the conviction and five-year sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal in the criminal case of Anwar Ibrahim, who was charged with sodomizing a former aide in 2008. (Press Summary, Dato’ Seri Anwar […]

Malaysia: Tax Status of Retirement Plans Clarified

(Jan. 7, 2015) A December 24, 2014, Public Ruling issued by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia clarifies the tax status and other aspects of private retirement plan contributions. The Ruling covers such contributions made by individuals and by employers, as well as the income of the retirement plan itself. (Janice Loke, Malaysia: Public Ruling […]

Malaysia: Anti-Terrorism Law Proposed

(Dec. 19, 2014) On November 26, 2014, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, urged the country’s parliament to adopt stronger legal safeguards against terrorism. In particular, he expressed concern about Malaysian citizens returning home with extremist views after having fought beside Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq, noting that 39 citizens had already joined […]

Malaysia: Human Rights Experts Again Urge Sedition Law Abolition

(Oct. 15, 2014) On October 8, 2014, a group of experts associated with the United Nations Human Rights Council called for the abolition of Malaysia’s 1948 Sedition Act. U.N. officials have frequently urged that the law be dropped. (Colleen Mallick, UN Rights Experts Urge Malaysia to Abolish Sedition Act, PAPER CHASE (Oct. 9, 2014); Press […]

Malaysia: Highest Court Declines to Overturn Ban on Use of Word “Allah” by Non-Muslims

(June 30, 2014) On June 23, 2014, the Federal Court of Malaysia turned down an appeal to hear a case challenging the country’s prohibition against the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims to refer to God. The ban, which had been overturned by a December 31, 2009, Kuala Lumpur High Court decision after having […]

Cambodia; Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Thailand: Regional Agreement on Protecting Witnesses and Victims

(Nov. 25, 2013) Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Thailand have agreed to establish a technical agency charged with improving cooperation among their national agencies in protecting witnesses and victims of transnational crime. The agreement was reached during a meeting held in Kuta, on the Indonesian island of Bali, that ended on […]

Malaysia: Court Decision on Use of Word “Allah” by Non-Muslims

(Oct. 25, 2013) It was reported on October 22, 2013, that the Court of Appeals in Putrajaya, Malaysia, has upheld a government ban on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslim groups to refer to God. The Court had considered the issue in response to the use of Allah in The Herald, a Catholic […]

Malaysia: Kedah State Considering Anti-Shia Law

(Aug. 27, 2013) On August 25, 2013, during a speech at the opening of Malaysia’s Kedah State Assembly, the Sultan of Kedah endorsed a draft legislation to ban versions of Islam other than Sunnism. In effect, this is a move against Shia Islam, the second major branch of the religion. (Ili Shazwani, Anti-Shia Bill Gets […]

Malaysia: Court Awards Settlement to Detainees

(Oct. 10, 2012) On October 2, 2012, a High Court of Malaysia awarded damages to three opposition politicians and two activists who had been detained in that country for almost two years. High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled that they had been detained illegally and awarded them more than RM4.06 million (over US$1.3 million) […]